Herbs & Plants


Botanical Name: Cyrilla racemiflora
Family: Myrtaceae/ Cyrillaceae

Subfamily: Myrtoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales
Tribe: Myrteae
Genus: Myrtus
Type species: Myrtus communis

*Myrtus communis L.
*Myrtus nivellei Batt. & Trab.

Synonyms: Myrthus Scop.

Common Names: Myrtle, Leatherwood, Swamp titi, Black Titi, Swamp, Titi Swamp, Leatherwood

Habitat: Myrtus communis – Common myrtle; native to the Mediterranean region in southern Europe.
Myrtus nivellei – Saharan myrtle; native to North Africa.

Now they are growing in Southern North America – Virginia to Florida and Texas.

Grows in Rich shaded river bottoms, the borders of sandy swamps and shallow ponds of the coastal pine-belt. Also found on high, sandy, exposed ridges rising above streams.


Common myrtle: Myrtus communis, the “common myrtle”, is native across the Mediterranean region, Macaronesia, western Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. It is also cultivated.


The plant is an evergreen shrub or small tree, growing to 5 metres (16 ft) tall. The leaf is entire, 3–5 cm long, with a fragrant essential oil.

The star-like flower has five petals and sepals, and numerous stamens. Petals usually are white. The flower is pollinated by insects.

The fruit is a round berry containing several seeds, most commonly blue-black in colour. A variety with yellow-amber berries is also present. The seeds are dispersed by birds that eat the berries.

Saharan myrtle: Myrtus nivellei, the Saharan myrtle, (Tuareg language: tefeltest), is endemic to the mountains of the central Sahara Desert. It is found in a restricted range in the Tassili n’Ajjer Mountains in southern Algeria, and the Tibesti Mountains in northern Chad.

It occurs in small areas of sparse relict woodland at montane elevations above the central Saharan desert plains.

It is a traditional medicinal plant for the Tuareg people.

Edible Uses:
Myrtus communis is used in the islands of Sardinia and Corsica to produce an aromatic liqueur called Mirto by macerating it in alcohol. Mirto is one of the most typical drinks of Sardinia and comes in two varieties: mirto rosso (red) produced by macerating the berries, and mirto bianco (white) produced from the less common yellow berries and sometimes the leaves.

Many Mediterranean pork dishes include myrtle berries, and roasted piglet is often stuffed with myrtle sprigs in the belly cavity, to impart an aromatic flavour to the meat.

The berries, whole or ground, have been used as a pepper substitute. They contribute to the distinctive flavor of Mortadella sausage and the related American Bologna sausage.

In Calabria, a myrtle branch is threaded through dried figs and then baked. The figs acquire a pleasant taste from the essential oils of the herb. They are then enjoyed through the winter months.

Medicinal Uses:
Myrtle, along with willow tree bark, occupies a prominent place in the writings of Hippocrates, Pliny, Dioscorides, Galen, and the Arabian writers.-
— It has been prescribed for fever and pain by ancient physicians since at least 2,500 BC in Sumer.

Myrtle’s effects are due to high levels of salicylic acid, a compound related to aspirin and the basis of the modern class of drugs known as NSAIDs.

In several countries, particularly in Europe and China, there has been a tradition for prescribing this substance for sinus infections. A systematic review of herbal medicines used for the treatment of rhinosinusitis concluded that the evidence that any herbal medicines are beneficial in the treatment of rhinosinusitis is limited, and that for Myrtus there is insufficient data to verify the significance of clinical results.

Other Uses:
It has several Mythological and ritual uses.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.